I was used to fountains that made water look like this:

Sorry if that made you need to pee. The second example is still very impressive, but there's a distinct difference in how the water reacts. The first looks like a glass tube, and can literally be lit like a fiber optic cable. Unfortunately in my rapt attention, my fascination outweighed my tipsy balance, and close inspection quickly netted me a faceful of fountain.

After drying off and drying out, I took the time to do a little research, and came to find that the first fountain (laminar) is quite different than the second (turbulent) for an interesting reason or two. Mostly, it has to do with alignment. Not to bore you, but the jets in the laminar fountain are basically set up to get all the water molecules in alignment, and moving at a reduced rate of speed. Once the water is aligned, it can be chopped, lit, crossed, and blobbed, all to achieve some rather amazing effects.

Alignment is a powerful thing in many ways, as AOL co-founder Steve Chase says:

Alignment. It's stunning to me what kind of an impact even one person can have if they have the right passion, perspective and are able to align the interest of a great team.

Now, Chase is talking about a corporate team, but the same is true of what seems to be happening with your Denver Nuggets under coach Michael Malone. Malone seems to be exactly as advertised by our brethren at Sactown Royalty when they cited several examples of players and media members alike giving Malone high marks as a straight shooter.

In Malone‘s limited time in Denver, here are a few examples of comments Nuggets players and media have made about their interactions with him…

From Denver Stiffs own Adam Mares recapping yesterday's media day when talking about Malone:

If there was one star of the show today it was new head coach Michael Malone. He answered everything that the press threw at him with poise and clarity.

Adam continues in a really good read, but let's stick with this theme. Here's Alexis Perry talking about her interview with Malone from last week's chat with the Stiffs:

I learned a lot about his passion for the game in that short amount of time. I was surprised by (but really appreciated) his candor. He was very open about the challenges he's facing in his role as head coach, and the expectations fans have for this team over the next few seasons.

Candor and clarity. Sounds like a good recipe for getting large groups on the same page. Let’s continue to players. Here’s a mashup of a few quotes about Malone from the Manimal himself, Kenneth Faried: (from an article by Christopher Dempsey in the Denver Post)

That's why I'm talking to you all with a smile on my face… He's an intense coach, and he loves his players and he doesn't criticize your talents, but praises them… I had a coach who didn't like my style of play too much, and now I have a coach who just loves me all out.

All that love, even though Malone has been repeatedly clear in the media that he expects Faried to defend, and run both ways. Think Faried is getting a mixed message here? It doesn't seem so.

Here’s J.J. Hickson, quoted by Perry, about Coach Malone’s expectations:

No one is unclear on what coach expects.

Succinct. Even for those of us who share Zach Lowe's feelings on J.J., that nugget is pretty exciting, as it means everyone is getting the message about what it takes to play for Malone. Who's to say that J.J. cannot be a better piece of the puzzle when properly coached up?

Here's Danilo Gallinari's take on his new coach, who came to visit him in Italy:

We talked a lot about themes he would like to put in, the style of the team, and my role in the team… I can't wait to get back (to Denver) and start to work with him and see the results on the court.

Exciting words from Gallo. And the beat goes on. Jameer Nelson, Wilson Chandler, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic and more have all expressed their excitement at playing for Malone, and how easy it’s been with everyone on the same page. To his credit, Nelson has also been a key player in getting this group of guys together to bond and share. Getting everyone in alignment.

Clarity. Candor. Communication. Cohesion. The early tent poles in place to avoid any repeats of the past two seasons where a now-gone coach and floor general often weren't even sure they were on the same page. Sometimes just having all your ducks in a row, your stars aligning… changes things ever-so-slightly into something special. It certainly seems like things are coming into alignment for your Denver Nuggets. Do you see what I see, Nuggets Nation?

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